Fashion maven Felipe Mazibuko's fave KwaZulu-Natal brands
The celebrated stylist talks fashion flops, trends and finds
The never-ending lockdown has become a rollercoaster ride up and down different levels. This is something that continues to take its toll on many local industries. So it's now more important than ever to celebrate and support home-grown fashion businesses.
With this in mind, we asked fashion maven and stylist Felipe Mazibuko to share some of his top KwaZulu-Natal designers and brands, and tell us about his fave fashion trends and finds.
What was your first fashion flop?
Dying my hair blond. I didn't consider my skin tone and the fact that I've got freckles. I had to start thinking about what I could wear to balance my skin tone and hair colour. The moment I have to start thinking about what I want to wear means something disastrous has happened.
What is your favourite recent fashion find?
There are two and both are deconstructed trench coats. One is from House of Ole and the other is a deconstructed trench coat shirt that [the CEO of SA Fashion Week] Lucilla Booyzen bought for me from Sipho Mbutho.
Is there a local fashion item that holds a special place in your heart?
Right now I am besotted with everything I have bought from Xavier Sadan.
What did you wear to your first Fashion Week?
There wasn't really anything about localisation then, especially when it came to men's wear. I wore a black Armani jacket and Dolce & Gabbana shoes.
Do you have a favourite fashion trend?
I don't really have a favourite fashion trend. Every season I look for a white shirt and now I get them online from Artclub and Friends. I've recently found an amazing brand in Cape Town, Studio Coise, with multipurpose shirts where the sleeves can come off.
The trend of the white shirt re-emerging every season is my favourite because I could never live without it.
Who is your favourite fashion icon?
I love how consistently [the co-founder of fashion label Sisi] Yasmin Furmie has pushed the envelope of style. She has taken style to a new level of comfort and to new levels of localisation, to a level of street.
SIX OF MAZIBUKO'S FAVE KZN BRANDS AND DESIGNERS
One of my favourite brands that has stood the test of time and still has some kind of urbaneness about it is Holmes Brothers. It's a brand that has become synonymous with Durban and has stayed true to its beachy skater boy aesthetic. Visit holmesbros.co.za
Amanda Laird Cherry
There is something classic about designer Amanda Laird Cherry's eponymous brand. I love how she consistently brings an organic yet grounded Zulu-ness into her designs. In the many collections she's done over the years, she's even taken inspiration from umblaselo (Zulu outfits with a distinctive patchwork). Visit amandalairdcherry.com
Designer Reggie Xaba of iFele makes amazing footwear that's a modern version of imbadada (Zulu sandals). And it's not just his contemporary take I appreciate; he has this technical history and know-how. The fact that Xaba has been in the fashion industry for so long means he has almost gone full circle in understanding cobbling and shoemaking and that for me is a big plus. Check out iFele on Instagram.
This designer doesn't have his own brand any more but as the head of design at the Durban University of Technology, he has supported some of the most amazing creatives in fashion. He has nurtured some of the most amazing talent in this country, especially young black designers.
Sipho Mbutho and Fikile Sokhulu
Honestly, these are the two young designers from Durban who are kicking butt — and they are gifted. They are pushing the limits of their creativity and are breaking new ground, not only in terms of Durban fashion but of what black designers are meant to be. Black designers don't have to do these glamorous, sequenced and OTT garments — they have taken black design to a level of newness. They have deconstructed what black design is all about.